Rostrevor’s ‘real life Narnia’ under spotlight during C.S. Lewis 50th anniversary

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Wednesday, November 20th, 2013
Community, Features
South Down MLA Seán Rogers says so much more can and should be done to reinforce the links with C.S. Lewis and the South Down area.

Could Aslan soon be joining ‘The Big Stone’?

Clive Staples Lewis (1898–1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. Lewis wrote more than thirty books, allowing him to reach a vast audience, and his works continue to attract thousands of new readers every year. C. S. Lewis’s most distinguished and popular accomplishments include Mere Christianity, Out of the Silent Planet, The Great Divorce, The Screwtape Letters, and the universally acknowledged classics in The Chronicles of Narnia. “To date, the Narnia books have sold over 100 million copies and been transformed into three major motion pictures. Speaking during the week that marks the 50th anniversary of the prolific writer, Rogers  told Newry Times, “C. S. Lewis’s love of our magical landscape is well recorded and yet visitors could arrive and leave the Mournes without once learning of the inspirational effect it had on this world renowned writer. “So many beautifully scripted quotes are gifted to us that should enable us to capture a little of the C.S. Lewis magic and deposit it firmly into the landscape where he envisaged it.” One of the writer’s most famous quotes about the local area was, “I have seen landscapes, notably in the Mourne Mountains and southwards which under a particular light made me feel that at any moment a giant might raise his head over the next ridge.”

Clive Staples Lewis cited ‘The Big Stone’ area as his idea of Narnia

In another quote, Lewis speaks of the exact location where he envisaged Narnia, “That part of Rostrevor which overlooks Carlingford Lough is my idea of Narnia.” Rogers added, “It should not be allowed to go unrecorded that C. S. Lewis revealed in a letter to his brother that the Mournes and in particular Rostrevor were his idea of the enchanting landscape that became known as Narnia.” In keeping with this thought the SDLP representative suggested one proposal might be to place a large sculpture of the great lion Aslan at that already mythically rich location known locally as ‘The Big Stone’. The lion looking out from the Mournes across to the Cooley Peninsula could so easily become a major international tourist attraction,” Rogers insisted. “Such a dramatic image would allow us to glimpse our beautiful landscape through the eyes of this inspirational and truly great man and no doubt would be visited by many. I will endeavour to ensure C.S. Lewis’s connection to the Mournes is recorded in a way that ensures it will not become lost through the passage of time.” Ending with a quote the SDLP representative said he hoped to see this and many others repeated in tourism literature throughout the world; ‘I yearn to see County Down in the snow; one almost expects to see a march of dwarfs dashing past. How I long to break into a world where such things were true.’ – C.S. Lewis
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